Barcelona, 4 September 2014. Interested clusters and cluster initiatives are invited to participate in the Call for Proposals that the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) recently launched within the framework of its Southern Mediterranean project “Support for the Development of Cultural and Creative Industries and Clusters in the Southern Mediterranean”. The project is funded by the European Union, with a financial contribution from the Italian Cooperation.
Each selected cluster will receive technical assistance over a period of three years – worth an estimated EUR 250,000 per cluster – to improve its competitiveness and products, to modernise and innovate as well as to access new markets. This includes financial support for the acquisition and maintenance of new or improved equipment and services.
The project offers a unique approach: on the one hand, it will assist selected clusters in strengthening their cooperation for increased competitiveness; on the other hand, it will help cluster improve their product range based on their cultural heritage. Subsequently, strong measures will be put in place to accompany the clusters towards new markets, especially by creating connections with buyers and distributors from both sides of the Mediterranean.
The UfM Secretariat will complement the EU-UNIDO programme with a project aiming to establish a regional platform for dialogue, exchange of experiences and dissemination of best practices.
The Call for Proposals is open until 15 October 2014. The cluster selection will be announced during the next National Steering Committee, which is scheduled for the end of October, and will be validated by the regional Project Approval Committee in November.
Interested clusters and public or private support institutions that would like to apply on behalf of cluster initiatives can obtain support from the national UNIDO team in completing the application form, which can be downloaded from the project website: www.cci-clusters.org